Monday, November 24, 2008

Mr. Blue Eyes

I don't think they could be any bluer. This is my favorite of his hats that I have made for him. He likes to look at himself in the mirror when he is wearing it. It makes him smile.

On Saturday Gabriel made this reindeer for our front porch. Liam likes it, too.

What a fun Christmas decoration. Gabriel does great work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Toys R Us buys back Avent bottles!

Toys R Us is giving store credit for the full retail price of your used Avent bottles. No proof-of-purchase, receipt, or anything else is required. All you have to do is bring in your bottles and they'll give you a store credit.


Due to concerns over BPA (bisphenol A) found in the bottles, Avent issued a warning. Toys R Us has decided to buy them back in an effort to eliminate these bottles from the market. It's not a recall. The FDA hasn't gotten there yet (although Canada just declared BPA toxic, and Europe did a while ago...).

I know, it sounds to good to be true, but it isn't! I took some back to the Toys R Us in Fayetteville, AR yesterday and walked away with $50 in store credit.

Be thrifty and get some extra funds for Christmas toys (they have a good selection of wood and other eco-friendly toy options) and be green by getting rid of those toxic bottles. What a great Thursday!

See more Thrifty Green Thursday ideas at The Green Baby Guide.

For more info on the dangers of BPA, go here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

fun things

The weather was freezing on Saturday: the daytime high didn't get out of the upper 30's. Brrrr...
Perfect weather for raking the yard with Daddy!

Is Your Mama a Llama? Linda is reading Liam one of his favorite books we checked out from the library. It's good to cuddle up with your Auntie, favorite blamket, and a good book.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Cookies

I just thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes.

I make cookies every week for Gabe to take in his lunch. This is my adaptation of Betty crocker's "Chocolate Oatmeal Chewies." It is definitely more nutritous, but it's still a cookie.

1/2 cup sucanat (dehydrated can juice), brown sugar, or turbinado sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
i cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

2 2/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa (I use fair trade certified...)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup ground flaxseeds, in a shallow dish

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Beat sucanat, agave nectar, butter, milk, and egg in large bowl with electric mixer (or by hand and stirring very vigourously) until combined and slightly fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

3. Forming one cookie at a time, roll approximately 2 tbsp of dough into a ball. Roll cookie in the flaxseeds, coating all sides. Place down on prepared cookie sheet, flattening slightly with your fingers. Space 1-2 inches apart.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are set but center is still slightly soft. Let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Finally, two years after we "completed" our remodel, we finished the kitchen! It now has a gorgeous slate tile backsplash and a range hood/microwave combo over the stove. We were going to buy just a regular range hood, but this one was on clearance at Best Buy, making it the less expensive option.

Here it is:
Notice my orchid with yet another flower spike coming up!

Linda helped tile mosaic covers for the outlet plates. They turned out fantastic.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A muffin, biscuit, tea, and a kimono

Liam really likes to eat. His favorite? Carbs in just about any form. Here he is enjoying a pumpkin molasses muffin. He easily ate the entire thing.

His first tooth is just about to pop through. I can feel it just beneath his gum on the bottom. These teething biscuits sure seem to help.

All done!

Auntie Linda shared her Jasmine tea.
Liam really liked it.

Auntie Molly brought back this kimono from Japan. The fan is from her trip a couple of years ago. Liam likes them both.

Thanks Auntie Molly!

homemade lattes and croissants

I have a new favorite eatery in Fayetteville: The Little Bread Co., located on Block street just off the Fayetteville square. Linda and I had the most amazing lunch there this week - A Hungry Hungry Hippie sandwich (think lots of veggies with hummus), a cup of shiitake mushroom soup, and a chocolate croissant. Everything is made fresh there, with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients. It was delicious.

It was so amazing it inspired me to try my hand at croissants. I've been wanting to make them for a long time, but they are so tedious. I was intimidated. But, after a day in the kitchen, they turned out great. I made both traditional and chocolate-filled croissants. Linda made us lattes to go with the latter. Yum.


Last week, Gabriel went to Seattle on a business trip with his work buddy David. They were gone 5 days and had a great trip, although I was definitely ready for him to come home by Friday.

Seattle was pleasantly overcast, rainy, and cold. What else is there?

Who needs Grey's Anatomy when you have your very own McDreamy?

Pike Place Market. Awesome.

You just don't see this in Arkansas. Yum.
Gabe brought me back some garlic jelly (I know, it sounds gross; but, it's really pretty good for stir fry. I put it in some chili. It was good). He also brought home some organic herbed gouda, which he bought from the seller who farmed just outside of town. Inspiring.

They took a midnight drive around Olympic National Park and wished they could enjoy the scenery. Here is the "Big Cedar." Its girth fills the entire screen. The picture just can't do it justice.

Pristine water. Lush greenery. Beautiful.

A trip up Mount Rainier and into the snow.

But wait, you say, wasn't this a business trip? Gabriel and David did get everything done at the Wal Marts they were scheduled to scope. They also put over 1,000 miles on their rental car and woke up early and stayed up late every day. He came back exhausted, but the trip was well worth it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

No more TV

We finally did it; We took down our TV.

Here's why:

We have been discussing things that we do and don't want Liam to grow up with. Often, the things I am thinking I don't want him to have are because of general well being and health concerns. That train of thought always leads to my realization that if it is not good for Liam, it's really not good for me and Gabe, either.

Case in point: refined white sugar. I had no intention of getting Liam hooked on this, but we go through a lot of it. So, I stopped buying it altogether about 2 months ago. Instead, I use sucanat (dehydrated cane juice crystals), agave nectar, brown sugar (Gabe would mutiny if I rid the house of this...), and honey. The change has hardly been noticeable in my cooking, and we are all the better for it.

So, back to the TV. We all know the reasons it's bad. And we know the reasons we love it, too. Especially for movies. Gabe and I decided we can do without the movies every night, GMA and The View in the morning, and Grey's Anatomy (gulp...). The fact that I almost feel upset about missing out on my favorite shows reassures me that we really need to quit TV.

Last night was the first night without it. We put Liam to bed, pulled a hot fudge sundae cake out of the oven, and sat down with our desserts in the living room. Gabe, Linda, and I looked around at each other. Now what?

Here's the really pathetic thing: we couldn't think of anything to do. Linda says we're all pretty boring. Gabe was counting the minutes until 9, when he could just go to bed.

I assured them that we'll get better at this. We'll find things to do. We'll relearn how to spend a quality evening enjoying each other's company. We'll all be the better for it, but it might take a little while to start enjoying this.

Grace Elizabeth Hall

A new cousin!
Born November 4, 2008
9 lbs, 2 oz
21 inches

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Era

Yesterday we welcomed a new President (Obama...whoohoo!), but more importantly, Liam got a new cousin!

Ben and Carolyn's baby girl was born yesterday at 11:04 pm. That's all I know, really. I'm dying to know more and will share her name and birthweight, etc when I find out.

We can't wait to meet her!


Introducing Liam the Garden Gnome.

The weather was warm enough for bare feet and some tummy time outside (he's still nowhere near crawling...we're doing good to get him to stay on his stomach for 5 minutes. He just doesn't like it. Especially when he could be sitting up instead).

After some pictures in the yard, and an afternoon nap, we got ready to go to the Downtown Trick or Treat, where the local businesses hand out candy so the kids flock together. We walked the few blocks from our house and found a deserted street. We missed it by a half an hour. So sad. So disappointing. Who knew Trick or Treating ended at 5:30?

Despite the disappointment Downtown, Liam loved seeing his Auntie Lindas disguised as a gypsy.

Gabe only worked a half day, and spent extra time with our little gnome. It ended up a great first Halloween.